Dreamcatcher

The Dreamcatchers, Brenda Myers-Powell and Stephanie Daniels-Wilson, have dedicated their lives to helping women get out of prostitution and teaching vulnerable young girls how to avoid sexual exploitation on the streets of Chicago. From high school girls to the seasoned pro on the street, Brenda and Stephanie are changing the lives of these women and challenging the conventional view that prostitutes are criminals.

Three a.m., on the South Side of Chicago, two women cruise the streets in a twelve seat van with the words ‘The Dreamcatchers’ emblazoned on the side. Stephanie drives in supportive silence watching Brenda work her unique outreach skills. “Hey pretty, do you need some condoms?” Brenda knows that the last thing these girls need is an outreach worker’s pity or judgement. She knows this because she walked the same streets, same as they’re doing, for twenty-five years.

The story of The Dreamcatchers, Brenda Myers-Powell and Stephanie Daniels-Wilson, is deeply personal. Both women grew up in Chicago, both worked as prostitutes, both had drug addictions and both have come out the other side. Their experience puts them in a rare position to help others do the same.

Award-winning director Kim Longinotto will follow Brenda and Stephanie into the sex trafficking underworld of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods. In her clear-eyed observational style, Kim will bear witness to the lives of the young women who Brenda and Stephanie encounter - on the streets, in high schools and group homes - to reveal the intimate events that put a girl on the path to prostitution.

The Dreamcatchers have recruited a few insiders to help them in their voluntary work: Homer King, an ex-pimp, and Eric Jones, a former ‘john.’ Homer schools the girls on the lies a pimp tells to get and keep control over them, and also does outreach to pimps who want to get out of the game. Kim will be able to follow Homer as he works with these young men.

Eric now finds girls to bring to Brenda and Stephanie for rehabilitation. He had been buying sex for years thinking he was ‘helping’ the girls. Through contact with Brenda and Stephanie, he realized he was doing the opposite. He no longer buys sex and now takes girls he finds to The Dreamcatchers. Like most johns, Eric was involved in the ‘fraternity’ of men who buy sex. Eric’s conversion is unusual. He is in a unique position to give us insight into the men who buy sex, who find a multitude of justifications for pursuing the ‘great hobby’ as it’s known among johns.

Through Kim’s skilful storytelling, the film will illuminate the difficult and complex connections that link the prostitutes, pimps and johns, and the hope that Brenda and Stephanie bring to the young women, some of whom go on to become Dreamcatchers themselves.

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